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Bend-La Pine Schools, students honoring veterans in a variety of ways

Hand-written notes from W.E. Miller Elementary students are one way Bend-La Pine Schools are honoring veterans this week
Bend-La Pine Schools
Hand-written notes from W.E. Miller Elementary students are one way Bend-La Pine Schools are honoring veterans this week

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Schools throughout Bend-La Pine Schools are finding creative and heartfelt ways to honor the service of veterans this week in observance of Veterans Day, Nov. 11. From writing letters and cards of appreciation to collecting supplies for veterans, students and staff are reaching out to honor and celebrate local veterans. 

“On Thursday, we will observe Veterans Day, and I’m proud to see so many of our schools and students taking time to reflect on and appreciate the sacrifices and contributions veterans have made for our country and community,” said Superintendent Steven Cook.

Here are just a few of the ways schools and students are honoring veterans:

Mail Call for Honor Flight: Megan Silvey, assistant principal at La Pine Elementary School, helped coordinate a large card and letter writing activity across the district that involved teachers from at least eight schools. Students in middle and elementary schools wrote hundreds of letters and cards to share with veterans who are taking part in the Honor Flight of Central Oregon program. Each veteran, who will be flying to visit a war memorial in Washington, D.C., receives a surprise “Mail Call” box filled with letters and cards, thanking them for their service and showing appreciation to let the veterans know their sacrifices have not been forgotten. 

“The veterans in this program feel so good to be acknowledged. It’s really heartwarming. I hope that students are learning about the importance of honoring our veterans and why it’s important to thank them for their service and how they spent time to put their life on the line for us and for our freedom,” said Silvey. 

Donations for Veterans Experiencing Homelessness: Summit High School’s Social Justice Club members are collecting hygiene and toiletry items and volunteering to provide maintenance support at Veterans Village, a community of transitional shelters providing services and shelter for veterans experiencing homelessness. The club is delivering the donations Wednesday afternoon.

Parade and volunteering: The La Pine High School NJROTC color guard are participating in the La Pine Veterans Day Parade and then volunteering to serve chili afterwards with the Band of Sisters organization.

Flag Line at football game: Summit High School’s Football game Friday night will include a Flag Line for the National Anthem, organized by the Band of Brothers veterans’ group in Bend.

Writing Reflection: At William E. Miller Elementary School, every year fourth grade teacher Stephanie Rodgers asks students to write a reflection about Veterans Day with prompts like: Do you know a Veteran? What can we do to thank American’s Veterans? Etc. She says the exercise is always meaningful, filled with family stories and sentiments. Additionally, the class made homemade cards for the Save a Warrior and Veterans Village programs. 

Hand-written cards: Middle school students at Three Rivers School wrote hand-written cards for local veterans.

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